For the past several years, Texas State’s campus has been under construction, and it will continue to be so for the next few years. Building new buildings to accommodate new students and top-notch technology is great, but the old buildings should be renovated as well so that everything is up to the same standard.
Having brand new, shiny buildings next to old, sometimes-ugly buildings throws off the aesthetic of campus. Additionally, the technology in the buildings needs to stay up-to-date so as to accommodate the increasing number of students and tech-based instruction.
Take Derrick, for instance, versus the newly-renovated Comal building. Derrick is in the middle of the quad and is used by hundreds—maybe thousands—of students every day, and to be honest, it looks like a prison. The bathrooms have graffiti all over them, and the stairwells are dark and scary and oftentimes closed off. The classrooms also still have old chalkboards that use actual chalk. Derrick is one of the ugliest buildings on campus, but is right in the middle. It needs to look like the rest of the buildings on campus: modern, clean and updated.
Conversely, the Comal building is just that. Completely gutting and rebuilding the old Psychology building into what it is now is exactly what it needed. It now looks like it belongs in the 21st century and is capable of accommodating the students of today. All of the older buildings on campus need to have this done, preferably within a decent timeline. If Texas State is trying to improve its image and become a top-tier school, then the buildings need to reflect the academic excellence and high standards to which the students are held.
Jones Dining Hall is also being renovated beginning in December. As one of the ugliest dining halls on campus but also one of the most accessible, it needs to be kept up-to-date and looking nice for students and visitors to campus alike. Fortunately, this is going to be happening soon, so Jones is going to go from being a reluctantly used place to get food to a top-notch dining hall. This will be good for the image on the university, especially since Jones can be seen from the streets off-campus.
Another aesthetic issue on campus is the appearance and functionality of the residence halls. While Gaillardia, Chautauqua, Falls and Sayers halls are basically five-star hotels for students, halls like Sterry, Lantana, Butler, and Retama need serious updating to better suit the students of the present and future. If students are going to be living in the residence halls, they need to have working sinks, showers with adequate privacy and fewer general structural problems. Sterry, for instance, shakes. Living in a building that is not structurally sound is not only a frightening experience but also potentially life-threatening. Students need to live in safe, updated buildings that reflect the quality of living one would expect on a top-tier campus.
Renovations are a necessary evil that Texas State must endure in order to make sure that the school stays up-to-date. Officials need to make sure that the improvements are widespread and encompass all parts of campus. Having one end of campus looking shiny and new will not be as impressive if the other half is still decrepit and falling apart.